Exotic destinations where the Rand will get you far

Although it may seem impossible, it can still be affordable to travel overseas. We know that 2018 has not been the greatest year with the Rand hitting a few exceptional lows against the Dollar and Pound. Of course, these scary exchange rates could easily kill any dream or hope of venturing beyond our borders. But there are actually a few exotic destinations where your Rand will get you far – without compromising on unexpected experiences or tropical beaches. 



Long boat and rocks on Railay beach in Krabi, Thailand

Thailand is a favourite amongst South Africans. An idyllic holiday spot, it is also a country where South Africans with a valid passport don’t need a Visa.  And to top it all, one Rand is 0.44 Thai Baht, which means it will not cost a fortune to go. There is a but! Peak season is November to March, and prices do tend to shoot up.  So if you do plan to go, make sure to take advantage of deals and packages, so that you too can go and sip on cocktails and dig your toes in the sand. But of course, Thailand is more than just sun, sea and sand. New foods, different languages, customs, architecture and most of all new experiences. 



Danang, Vietnam.  A panoramic view of Golden Bridge is lifted by two giant hands in the tourist resort on Ba Na Hill in Danang, Vietnam.

Overlooked on the bucket list of many, Vietnam is a rare jewel. To many this travel destination, once discovered, is one for the books. Its landscape is almost mystical and the people in Vietnam welcome visitors. But its best-kept secret? Over 3000km of coastline with sandy beaches, dotted with tropical islands. You may think of a cultural experience when you picture yourself in Vietnam – which of course it does offer – but Vietnam is not short on adventure. You can explore caves, go kayaking or canyoning, explore towns by motorbike or explore the oceans scuba diving.  Vietnam is also the perfect adventure for foodies – immerse yourself in traditional Vietnamese cooking class or try some street food at one of the local markets. South Africans do need a Visa to travel here, but with one Rand buying you 1629,97 Vietnamese Dong, the effort will be worth your while. 



Bali calls up images of ancient stories and secrets. Dramatic architecture and, alas, those tropical beaches you see in postcards. You will find the most beautiful beach resorts along the southern coastline of the island. Whether you budget for five-star properties with private beaches or more budget-friendly options – all of them are right on the beach. And where there is water – there is adventure. With plenty of sport activities or explore tropical gardens inland. Trying local foods is a must, especially in one of the small warungs or from the street food markets.  Speaking of markets, here you also have plenty of markets where you can shop for locally hand-made trinkets, or visit local malls (yes, they do have modern malls). Also look out for local woven bags or silk accessories. Bali offers a little bit of everything for everyone. And as with Thailand, South Africans do not need a visa to travel to Bali.  


Relaxing in a hammock on Pinagbuyutan island, near Palawan, Phillipines

If you’ve dreamt of places like Mauritius, Thailand and The Seychelles – then the Philippines should not be forgotten… It is THE idyllic tropical beach getaway. White beaches; check. Azure blue waters; check. And intricate coral reefs, another check. You are spoilt for choice, with over 7641 islands to choose from! While the beaches are second to none, you also have the option of venturing inland. The Philippines are lined with lakes that snake through, rich-green rice fields and the countryside, and caves that guard the secrets of old along with underground rivers – there certainly is no shortage of sites or sights to blow you away.  And if you have a valid South African passport – and are visiting less than 30 days – once again no visa is needed!  The Philippines have the tagline – “It’s more fun in the Philippines,” so with 1 Rand getting you around 3.68 Philippine Peso, why not find out? 

Intrigued? Also look out for the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Sri Lanka and Nepal. And remember to read your favourite Travel Ideas Magazine for more ideas and hidden treasures. Keep those travel ideas alive! 

Travel Ideas

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